About Soapbox

Our mission at Soapbox Cincinnati is to Connect PEOPLE to PLACE.

IMG publications leverage the power of solutions-based + narrative storytelling in partnership with community-based leadership coalitions to increase attachment to place – a foundational element to inclusive economic growth – while delivering community response to local media contraction.

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Soapbox Cincinnati, founded in 2008, is published by Issue Media Group, whose publications are supported by underwriting and partnerships with local businesses, civic institutions, community funds, nonprofits and foundations that support and expand our coverage of community and economic development, social innovation, city building and place making. Learn more about our underwriting policy here.

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A brief overview of the Soapbox crew:

Publisher: Patrice Watson

Patrice launched consulting firm, Raise Your Share, in 2010 to take a deep dive into digital and social media to learn how nonprofits and businesses can integrate new media to develop revenue and audience. Her offline career includes a decade as Publisher at Cincinnati Magazine + 25 years in radio sales and management for groups Clear Channel (formerly Jacor Communications), American Media/DKM Broadcasting and Taft Broadcasting Company. Patrice joined Issue Media Group as publisher for Soapbox Cincinnati and NKY thrives in February, 2016, and lives in North Avondale. Follow her on Twitter @patricewatson10.

Soapbox Managing Editor: Jessica Esemplare
Jessica Esemplare is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Shortly after completing her degree in magazine journalism, she began covering local and regional topics at The Cincinnati Herald and, later, as an editor at Ohio Magazine. Her Ohio-based writing has also been featured in U.S. News and World Report. No one is more surprised by this than her family and friends, who watched her reluctantly leave her hometown in New Jersey more than 20 years ago. Much to their surprise (and hers), she has found her village in Pleasant Ridge, where she resides with her husband, two daughters, and a community of awesome neighbors.

Chief Advocate & Instigator: Eric Avner
During the day, Eric oversees community development grantmaking for the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation as well as People's Liberty. Prior to that, he was associate director of the Cincinnati Business Committee, that venerable group of CEOs representing Cincinnati's 30 largest employers. And prior to that, while guiding Newport's downtown revitalization, he led the effort to create the Purple People Bridge. Most importantly, Eric spent 16 months meeting, discussing, planning and plotting to get Soapbox Media launched back in 2008. Now, when he and his bowtie aren't out instigating for some way to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Eric keeps busy serving on boards for the Cincinnati Development Fund, ArtWorks and People's Liberty. A boomerang Cincinnatian (he lived here in the late '70s, left, and returned to town in 1996), Eric also takes pride in his dual US/Canadian citizenship ... eh. Eric and his wife reside in bucolic Walnut Hills after several years in a downtown loft.


Soapbox is published by Detroit-based Issue Media Group.

Here are other Issue Media Group city and regional publications across our network:

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